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The effects of exercise therapy on the prognosis of patients with COVID-19

At the end of 2019, a pneumonia caused by a new pneumonia virus declares its fast spread throughout the World, and thus brings a great impact on global public Health, Health care system and economic development. On February 7, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) designated COVID-19 as Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Genome sequencing has confirmed that COVID-19 is similar to SARS-CoV and bat coronavirus, but the main source, mode of transmission, and mechanisms associated with human pathogenicity of this pandemic outbreak are unknown. At the beginning, COVID-19 is characterized by fever, dry cough, fatigue, and then dyspnea. In severe cases, it may progress to acute respiratory distress syndrome, septic shock, or even death Pneumonia often affects both lungs and presents mainly in the lower lobe, it is more severe in elderly patients over 70 years of age and in patients with various complications. Most children and young adults with SARS-COV-2 develop mild to moderate influenza-like symptoms and have a good prognosis. In addition to respiratory symptoms, some patients also experience digestive problems such as vomiting and diarrhea. The transmission mode of the virus is to enter the human body through mucous membranes, especially the mucous membranes of the nose and throat, and reach the lungs through the respiratory tract, and quickly replicate and spread. virus can be asymptomatic infection close (2 meters) cough or sneeze droplets spread, this is the main way for the spread of the virus. The fecal-oral route may also be a route of infection, as tests have shown that the virus is present in the feces and urine of COVID-19 patients. The main treatment for COVID-19 is symptomatic treatment, with critical patients receiving organ support. The use of drugs by antiviral drugs, protease inhibitors and a variety of drugs combined application, the purpose is to reduce the patient’s clinical symptoms. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has also been widely used in COVID-19 patients in China. In clinical treatment, combined with conventional symptomatic treatment, good therapeutic effect has been achieved.

Exercise therapy refers to the use of equipment, freehand or patient’s own strength, exercise therapy through some means of movement (active or passive movement, etc.), so that patients get the whole body or local motor function, sensory function recovery training methods. Long-term outcomes for COVID-19 are not fully understood. Based on existing clinical studies, the possible results can be briefly categorized as follows:

  • 1. Lung injury that may develop, especially in severe cases of pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS);
  • 2. Complications during intensive care, such as fixation;
  • 3. Possible consequences and complications of neurological symptoms or disease caused by COVID-19;
  • 4. Lack of exercise, changes in eating habits, insomnia and psychological problems during isolation or isolation.

For patient rehabilitation exercise and abdominal breathing training exercise therapy can effectively increase the patient breathe out capacity, improve lung function. Through training exercise therapy in patients with upper limb muscles, lower limb muscles, walking training, breathing training, etc., can reduce patients with dyspnea condition, improve the patients’ pulmonary ventilation, pulmonary ventilation function, reduce the patients’ sputum, cough, improve function of limbs movement, make the patients life self-care ability, the effect of COVID – 19 has a benign prognosis.

Methods and analysis: 

The scheme was systematically reviewed in accordance with the preferred reporting items. We searched the following experimental databases: Cochrane Library, PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, China Biomedical Literature Database (CBM), China National Knowledge Infrastructure Database (CNKI), China Science and Wanfang Database. All trials using exercise therapy for rehabilitation of COVID-19 patients in the above database should be considered for inclusion. Relevant randomised controlled trials(RCTS), controlled before and after, interrupted time series and prospective analytic cohort studies regardless of publication date, language and geographic location, will be included. To summarize the therapeutic effect of exercise therapy on COVID-19 patients, high-quality literature was selected for data extraction and analysis. Two reviewers will independently screen titles, abstracts and full-text articles against inclusion criteria; perform data extraction and assess risk of bias in included studies. We will assess the certainty of the overall evidence using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation approach and report findings accordingly.


Since the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, more than 20 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and all health care workers are looking for ways to improve the cure rate of the disease. As an important method of rehabilitation therapy, exercise therapy has been proved to improve the level of human function, promote the recovery of diseases, and improve the human immune ability. The main objective of this study was to provide reliable methods and credible evidence for exercise therapy to improve the prognosis of COVID-19 patients.

 December 18, 2020

Qiu, Guorong PhDJi, Yu PhD; Tan, Yajun PhDHe, Benxiang MDTan, Chunfeng BS; Wang, Zhuoling BS Gao, Hongpan BS